Nov 23, 2020
I'm often asked what is the most important action to take to start reducing menopausal symptoms?
The answer is self-care. As women we are natural caregivers, many of us look after everyone else to our own detriment. We all know the saying we need to put on our own oxygen mask first, before helping others. But knowing this and doing this are 2 different things.
Self-care comes in many different shapes and sizes and what works for one woman might not work for another.
I recommend reading through the rest of the article and picking out things that can be done as a one-off task and what you can add to your daily, weekly, monthly routine. It shouldn't feel like another time-consuming task to drain you of your energy but instead the highlight, something you really look forward to. In some cases, you will need to start saying no to things to free up more time in order to get them done, but know you are worth it! Noone is going to prioritize your health and happiness if you don't.
- Stop delaying your own health care appointments. With teenagers and aging parents we often run them to their appointments but what about your own physical health? Are you overdue for a checkup?
- Exercise, the minimum recommendation is at least 2.5 hours weekly and this should include cardio, strength, and stretching components. Are you fitting this in every week?
- Do you pamper your body? Regular massages, baths, facials, etc. Show your body you care for it.
- Prioritizing sleep and rest. The occasional late night out can be fun but regularly jam-packing far too much into your day at the expense of sleep won't work for you in the long run. Learn to say no and get to bed.
- Fuel your body with healthy delicious meals and adequate hydration. Prioritize time for home-cooked meals. Batch cook and freeze meals if necessary.
- Are you getting your physical needs met? Skin to skin contact is essential for health. It can be a massage, cuddles, or physical intimacy.
- Are you breathing? Stop and take the time to deliberately breathe. Deep, slow diaphragmatic breaths. Many women find when they slow their breath, their mind follows and relaxation is easier to achieve.
- Have your tried mediation? Body scans and progressive muscle relaxation are good examples to start with.
- What are you grateful for? Do you set time aside every day to give thanks and acknowledge all the wonderful people or situations that are happening in your life?
- What are your creative outlets? Maybe it's time to book that painting class/pottery class/ photography etc Or maybe you are more into music, drama or dance? Booking classes with set days and times is often a good way to make sure it happens.
- Are you religious? Is it time you recommitted to your faith and found more time for prayer and service?
- We are social creatures and need to feel loved, appreciated, heard, and valued. It's ideal to be involved in at least 3 different groups outside of work/family. This might be a stretch for some of you and others will be involved in many more. Are you prioritizing time out with your friends? Or are you looking into ways to make new friends and spreading your social circle?
Personal space self-care
- Quiet time for reading
- Take a relaxing bubble bath
- General time out, time and space to be quiet in your own thoughts, it could be the chance to use the bathroom in peace or have a cup of tea, listen to your favourite music or go for a stroll.
- Do you need to declutter your home? Your living space creates your vibe at home. Do you need to re-organize your space to be more functioning? Do you need help with cleaning? Money spent on a cleaner is a good investment in your mental health and gives you time back for other things.
- Do you need to spend more time in nature? It may be a barefoot walk on the grass, admiring beautiful flowers, watching the sunset, being by the water, or in a rainforest. Nature time is nurture time.
Let's return to my starting point about knowing you need self-care and actually allowing yourself to look after yourself first. What is it going to take to make you take action? If you don't look after yourself, who will?